Thursday, October 14, 2010

Exciting Offseason Ahead

So what will the Reds do with all of their time in the offseason?  Probably make things very interesting.
First-Bronson Arroyo says he not only will return for his option year, he fully expects a long-term contract with the Reds before he reports to spring training.  This makes a few guys expendable in trades.  So who is going to go from the pool of young pitchers?  Leake, Cueto, Wood, Volquez, Bailey, and Chapman all have the potential to be mainstays.  No way the Reds would entertain the thought of moving Chapman.  Everyone else might be fair game and one or two of the young pitchers might bring a bat or a shortstop.
Second-What happens with Cabrera, Hernandez, and Gomes.  All three were starting players.  I have to believe the Reds exercise the option on Gomes since they can bring him back at a decent rate.  But it will be interesting, since the Reds might be able to deal for a left fielder.  Plus there's the promise of Chris Heisey.  Hernandez might be an even more interesting case.  Do the Reds want to shell out $3 million for Ramon when Devin Mesoraco might force his way into Cincinnati by midseason?  If the Reds are convinced about Mesoraco's 2010 breakout, it might make sense to go a cheaper route to pair with Ryan Hanigan to start 2011.  Ramon has value as a veteran influence, but I'm not convinced he's back.  Same with Cabrera.  This could depend on the trade market.  Cabrera and Ramon brought valuable experience and leadership to this team, but the kids grew up some this past season and Rolen is still around.
Bottom Line-There's a lot of options that allow the Reds to take a good, young, growing club and make it better.  They can deal from a position of strength, too.  The Reds are not desperate to make a move.  We don't know what the rest of the division looks like yet, but I expect the 2011 Reds will be positioned to make a run in the division again.

How this for funny?  Early in the week my 85 year old mother calls me, and somehow the conversation turns to the Bengals game.  She asked me why the Bengals would throw the ball with under 3 minutes to go and a 7 point lead?  My mom doesn't know a whole lot about football strategy, but she knew enough that it makes no sense to put yourself in a position where you just might give the game away.                         

How much longer will everyone continue to say there's nothing wrong with Carson Palmer?  I may be crazy, but is it possible some days his arm feels better than others?  There has to be something amiss.  His career is sliding badly, along with his quarterback rating.  His rating has basically declined every season since 2005.  He appears to stare down receivers, and the critical mistakes at critical times in games is something that should not be happening to a guy who has been in the league since 2004.

I shot my mouth off on Sport Rock last week and said I thought U.C. had a great chance at winning the Big East football title again since West Virginia is the only team playing well enough to scare me.  I should have mentioned Louisville.  I know it's only one game, and it was Memphis, but any team able to administer a 56-0 butt whipping the week before should get your attention.  I say the Cats win, but Louisville is better than I gave the Cardinals credit for on last week's show.

This is what happens when you play in the SEC.  You are Kentucky.  You start the conference season at Florida, then you go to Mississippi, then you get 8th ranked Auburn at home, followed by 12th ranked South Carolina.  Oh yeah, and the old ball coach and the Gamecocks just knocked off the top ranked team in the country.  Why is it all of these Kentucky fans keep telling me they want to stay in the SEC?  I still say the northernmost school in that conference is at a disadvantage when it comes to football.

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